Maietta Ambigram

Originally uploaded by anthony.maietta


Right now I feel compelled to write this entry with the approach of the Angels and Demons movie this May. I recently saw The Watchmen and the A&D trailers are in full rotation. Over the next month and half the momentum is really going to pick up, and you’ll no doubt read some articles about “ambigrams”. Tom Hanks got something like $30M for this movie; reportedly the highest movie contract ever, so they’re really going to be overly PR’ing this film to get some revenue. I read A&D in 2005, before I read The da Vinci Code, and was immediately obsessed with the 6 ambigrams in the novel. Around the same time I was developing the brand for my framebuilding business and in the need of a good logo. Apprenticing at Hot Tubes, I was familiar with a ton of frame logos, as we repainted everything from Bob Jackson’s to Sevens to Cervelos and everything in between. I knew a good logo could seriously add to a frame and it could seriously detract from a frame. After reading A&D I knew I wanted an ambigram of my last name as my logo. As with many things in my life I thought, “I think I can do that!”, so I just started excitedly drawing…thinking it would be easy. After toiling for many many months trying to develop an ambigram I was a bit defeated, so I did some research and discovered that a man named John Langdon was responsible for designing the ambigrams for Dan Brown’s book. The two are close friends and Dan actually named Robert Langdon after his good friend. I contacted John through his website and commissioned work on a design for my last name. Typically John’s work is very expensive (and rightfully so!). I was low on capital, but high on promise, and I must have struck a personal chord with him. We ended working out a private deal and I actually received 4 (!!) different ambigram rough sketches to choose from. I keep the other 3 drafts a close secret and maybe one day I’ll have John complete them  for some anniversary bikes. When my customer allows it, I love to add three DT/ST logos with the middle one centered on top of the tube; to force you to see the duality. Whenever possible I try to exploit the logo and force people to see it.  RE: business cards, jerseys, bib shorts, shirts, etc. I know of two other frame companies with ambigrams as logos; Villin and Vendetta, and theirs are pretty good. One of the things I like best about mine is the story that goes with it. Over the next month and half as you see the Angels and Demons trailers and ads popping up everywhere and you’ll no doubt see John’s work. His ambigrams are such a important aspect to the book and even more so to the film. So there you have it, the back story to the Maietta ambigram…a real Langdon piece of art.

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